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Ian Somerhalder Says the Vampires in V Wars Aren't Like the Ones in The Vampire Diaries

The actor warns that if "someone dies on this show, they are gone"

Keisha Hatchett

After an unforgettable turn as Damon Salvatore on The Vampire Diaries, Ian Somerhalder is sinking his teeth into another vampire show with V Wars, a sci-fi horror series arriving on Netflix this Thursday.

Based on Jonathan Maberry and Alan Robinson's comics of the same name, the series centers on the fallout from an apocalyptic event in which a mysterious virus has turned regular people into blood-thirsty predators by the thousands. Somerhalder stars as Dr. Luther Swann, a scientist desperately working for a cure as the world becomes increasingly polarized, with vampires pitted against humans. But unlike in The Vampire Diaries, Somerhalder says that the undead in the upcoming Netflix series aren't so alluring.

Ian Somerhalder Is the Only Hope for Surviving the Vampire Apocalypse in First V Wars Trailer

"The vampires that are happening here, it's science-based," Somerhalder told TV Guide during a recent press junket, noting that this separates them from the more "fantasy" elements of the sexy teen drama. "This is more in real time, happening in front of you. So you're watching this disease take over but it's grounded. [If] someone dies on this show, they are gone so it raises the stakes. It's the what if -- what if this was happening down the block from me?"

The 10-episode first season will hit close to home, tackling real-world issues like border protection, racism, and the prejudicial fear of others. At the center of it all is Swann, who is attempting to save his best friend, Michael Fayne (Arrow's Adrian Holmes), who was among the first humans to turn and become an underground leader of the ravenous creatures. Luther Swann's close connection to the disease is what drives him to continue to seek out a cure by studying the vampire virus, which spreads through a cluster of mutated protein cells known as prions, while the world around him descends into chaos.

"Luther goes on this very fast path to try and isolate this prion and find out how to cure it. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of these people are turning," Somerhalder said. "You have families, brothers who turned, [and those] who aren't who are now gonna be in complete opposition of each other. [There's] a lot of relevance there, and a lot of nuance but it's grounded," he added.

Catch Somerhalder in action when V Wars premieres Thursday, Dec. 5 on Netflix.

​Ian Somerhalder, V Wars

Ian Somerhalder, V Wars